Dr. David's Indie Roundup: Serious Sam, Hotline Miami, IndieCade East, and more
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Dr. David’s indie roundup, where I, Dr. David, will be your host. I will guide you through a few of the current stories going on in the world of indie game development. Don’t let my title scare you -- I won’t be stabbing you with needles or drawing blood. Think of it as a fake title, like when paleontologists have a doctorate degree. I mean, those dudes aren’t really doctors anyway. Not that they’re not useful -- it’s certainly of the utmost importance to know when dinosaurs pooped. Um, all right, I’m going to stop offending scientists now and get this thing started. Let’s talk indie games!
A Valley Without Wind 2 out now
Back in 2012, developer Arcen Games released the highly entertaining A Valley Without Wind. That game delivered a competent and enjoyable 2D action-adventure full of randomly generated enemies and an open world that was just addictive to explore. Sadly, that same open world was also a bit of a detriment to the experience, and it was tedious traveling the land too often. Arcen has decided to follow up last year’s adventure with a spiritual successor, A Valley Without Wind 2. The game launched on Monday, February 18 and provides a similar experience as its predecessor, albeit with some new gameplay elements. Namely, A Valley Without Wind 2 offers up some city-building gameplay and new turn-based strategy combat. If you already own the first game, this sequel is free to download, which is pretty damn sweet.
A Virus Named Tom heads to PS Vita
After having delivered quite the explosive experience on PC, it looks like action-puzzler A Virus Named Tom is now going the handheld route. Developer Misfits Attic recently announced that the game would soon be available on the Vita and PlayStation Mobile. The tile-based, Bomberman-influenced gameplay of this indie title is ideal for the small screen, and it’s easy to imagine Vita fans digging right into this. Throw in the game’s co-op functionality, and you’ve got quite the solid portable game. Plus, I don’t think adopters of Sony’s handheld are in any position to get choosy at this point.
The Basement Collection gets physical retail edition
Edmund McMillen is one if the most prolific developers in the indie game spectrum. Think of The Basement Collection as a sort of greatest hits compilation of some of his earlier work. While not every game in the set is a winner, most of them certainly are, and they all show exactly where the developer came from and how he got his start in this industry. It’s fitting that such a collection of indie gems isn’t being relegated to digital status and will soon be available in physical form for all of my fellow materialistic indie game fans. Not to mention, it comes bundled with Indie Game: The Movie, which is a must-see documentary for video game aficionados. Watch out for The Basement Collection retail edition on March 26.
Hotline Miami will soon deliver brightly colored pixelated gore on PSN
When it launched for PC last year, Hotline Miami wasn’t just one of the best new indie games, it was one of the best games, period. By combining bright neon colors and deliciously pixelated graphics, throwing in a bunch of bloody gore, and then putting it all in a fictional Miami setting, the game managed to provide one of the most riveting action experiences in recent memory. Also, that soundtrack was just brilliant. It’s great to see Hotline Miami being available on the PlayStation Network for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita because now even more people will be playing the game. I, however, will simply be playing it all over again, which is something I’m really looking forward to. Time to get the rooster mask ready!
Check out our blood-soaked review of the PC version of Hotline Miami.
IndieCade East wrap-up
The first annual IndieCade East has come and gone, but what a spectacle it was. Some of the hottest indie games on the market -- as well as anticipated, upcoming titles -- were all showcased in New York. As a fan of the LA version of IndieCade, I’m ecstatic to see the festival of independent games spreading across the states. Our wrap-up covers a few of the highlights of this year’s IndieCade East, including Guacamelee, Hokra and Gorogoa. Check it out and see what games you should be totally stoked for.
GameZone heads to IndieCade East and spends some time with a handful of awesome games.
Katamari Damacy creator working on untitled project
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Keita Takahashi, the brilliant mind that brought us the equally brilliant and totally outrageous Katamari Damacy. It looks like the developer is currently working on a collaborative project, and it’s going to be unveiled at a GDC party this year. All we know so far is that the game will offer multiplayer gameplay, which opens up the door for pretty much all kinds of speculation. Are we looking at a party game? Puzzler? MMO? The image above is taken from a teaser video for the project. Take it to mean what you will.
Ode to Pixel Days is a moving take on self-esteem
Developer Talha Kaya’s story of a determined young man who hopes for nothing more than a chance with a beautiful cheerleader is incredibly heartfelt, humorous at times, and really emotional. When he gets rejected, the love-struck Hans decides to turn the world around him into pixels in the hopes that everyone will look alike and he’ll no longer be seen as ugly. It’s a depressing yet worthwhile experience that examines the struggles some individuals have with self-worth and self-esteem. It’ll only take you a few minutes to get through, but it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of emotional and abstract pieces.
Serious Sam Double D XXL out now, lets you shoot pancakes
Sam Stone makes his way to Xbox Live Arcade this week in an updated remake of Serious Sam Double D. This time around, Serious Sam Double D XXL provides more missions, more enemies, and more crazy gun upgrades for you to feast on (figuratively). The game features the Gunstacker, allowing you to pile up to six weapons on top of each other so that you can easily pump countless bullets and rockets into hordes of ugly-ass monsters (literally). The addition of a co-op mode means you can blast baddies in the face with a buddy watching your back. Even if you choose to go at it alone, this is one action-packed trip back in time that’s worth checking out for fans of Serious Sam, action games and 2D shooters.
For an in-depth look at Double D XXL, check out our review which features cats, pancakes, and hamburgers.
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.